I currently teach two amazing groups of Kindergarteners, the "Donald Ducks" and the "Mickey Mouses". As the English teacher of a side-by-side dual-language program, both my teaching partner and I have a homeroom class. We see each group of students every other day. In my room, they learn in English, while in her room, they learn in Spanish.
My students represent a microcosm of the beautiful diversity that is America.
They are 4 and 5 year-olds of every race, religion, and ethnicity. A majority of my students are Hispanic and many are second language learners. Some students only speak Spanish, while others are fluently bilingual. I also have students, in both groups, who are native English speakers. These students are eagerly beginning their bilingual journeys, which they will be able to continue throughout all of their schooling.
My students keep me on my toes- they make me laugh, they challenge me, and they teach me something new each day.
Being a part of a side-by-side dual language program is a wonderful teaching experience, but it can be a challenge to organize sets of supplies for two groups of students. Every other day, my co-teacher and I switch our homeroom classes, so we are responsible for a total of 45-50 students. This means that there are 50 five and six-year olds using the same sets of pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and more. As you can imagine, we are constantly wearing down supplies and running out of materials. In order for our students to begin learning responsibility and have access to their own supplies, we would like to provide each student with his or her very own supply box in each classroom.
With each supply box, comes great responsibility.
The students will be in charge of using their supplies, gently, putting them away properly, and treating their supply boxes with care. Students will no longer have to argue over crayons, constantly get up to borrow supplies from another table, or interrupt a lesson to retrieve a sharpened pencil. Within each supply box, the children will have their own pencils, scissors, glue, erasers, and more.
In Kindergarten, we do a lot of work that involves drawing and the students frequently ask for "skin color" to make realistic portraits. This simple question always leads to a larger discussion because, in our ethnically diverse classroom, I want them to understand that skin comes in many shades- all of which are real and beautiful. In order to promote this idea of self-acceptance and create realistic pictures, the students will require their own set of multi-cultural crayons.
With the help of your generous donations, my classroom will become a more organized environment where each student will be able to utilize supplies to improve their daily education.
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